By Ian Miller
This month, we feature two new businesses to the Glebe: Flapjack’s Pancake Shack and Delightful Tastes. If you’re craving a yummy, home-made pancake creation, be sure to visit the Shack — it’s tucked away behind Mrs Tiggy Winkles, so don’t miss it! And if nut-free sweets are your kind of treat, Delightful Tastes will be sure to tickle your taste buds.
Flapjack’s Pancake Shack
The distance from urban hustle to backwoods cabin lifestyle just got a little shorter. A new food truck has permanently parked in the back alley of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s off Bank Street to serve up a new take on Canadian pancakes.
Flipping up tradition in an urban oasis
“We wanted to create the Canadian feel and pancakes are super-Canadian,” says Corey Sauvé, owner of Flapjack’s Pancake Shack. “For the past century they’ve been like a Canadian comfort food. So we wanted to have the lumberjack feel.”
Several sturdy trees hug the open-air patio space and an array of log chairs and tables make for a rustic cottage-like feel. “We’re trying to make it a nice atmosphere back here,” Sauvé says. “Escape the busy Bank Street traffic and come back here, enjoy your pancakes and hang out.”
It’s a makeshift getaway in the centre of the Glebe’s main strip, and like just about anything makeshift, it’s got a certain charm to it. Backwoods décor sets the scene along with strung-up lights and images of their signature mascot, Flapjack. He’s a burly-looking lumberjack with a spatula and axe tattooed on his arm. Sauvé envisions him as a character coming from the woods and bringing his maple syrup down for everyone to try.
Flapjack’s menu is a bit off-the-beaten-path and boasts a variety of hearty options. The “panwiches” may be among the heartiest. Get started with a breakfast of egg, bacon and cheese sandwiched between two buttermilk pancakes. The Paul Bunyan and Jam is legendary and the iconic Big Joe Montferrand couldn’t be forgotten on this menu. Customize your own stack of pancakes with a choice of 30 toppings ranging from bacon crumble to strawberries.
There’s something nostalgic about the Campfire, Sauvé’s personal favourite, with marshmallows and Nutella melted between two-gram cookie buttermilk pancakes. The Banana Log Splitter is another sticky classic, and to sweeten the deal even more, everything comes with gourmet, real Canadian maple syrup. Flapjack’s will soon be packaging and selling bottles of the syrup which comes straight from a Québec maple farm. They’re also planning to have a tub with taffy on snow for Winterlude.
With its location just off Bank Street, social media have become the modern tool of choice in getting the word out about this urban oasis. “Our social media presence replaces the street front so we like it like that. It becomes like that hidden kind of gem,” Sauvé explains. Friends tell friends or share online through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. “You know they must have loved it when they bring back all of their friends. Then you see those friends come with other friends and it’s awesome the way people network and spread the word.”
Saturday and Sunday mornings are busiest and despite the challenging cold weather, Sauvé says the business is off to a great start. In its first few weeks of operation, Flapjack’s has acquired its own group of regulars, some of whom text-message in their orders when they’re en route.
Flapjack’s cook, Sacha Foster, sees the food truck concept as a nice change from the typical menu and waited-table dining experience. “Some people want to get out of the restaurant and try something new and the food truck just happens to be that kind of thing,” says Foster.
Sauvé came up with the idea for the business while studying at Carleton University and found Beaver Tails to be the only company with a business model revolving around a uniquely Canadian food.
He says finding the right business partner in Max Anisman has made that a reality. The two are already working on expanding to other locations. The next location will have a more permanent cabin-like structure and they’ve also purchased another truck for a third location. Sauvé says the welcome they’ve received from the community and neighbouring businesses has made the Glebe an ideal location to start flipping pancakes. “The Glebe is awesome,” exclaims Sauvé. “There’s always people walking around, lots of young families. We wanted this to be not only a place for friends to go, but a place for families to go. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to start our first one.”
Flapjack’s Pancake Shack
(behind 809 Bank Street)
Mon – Wed, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thurs, Fri, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat., Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The shack is open at –20°C and above. This is Canada.
Delightful Tastes: A Sweet New Shop in the Glebe
If you’re a fanatic about pastries, you’ll be among friends at Delightful Tastes on Bank Street… Warming to its red walls and coffee-shop-like atmosphere, you will quickly be drawn to the display of extravagant cakes, triple-chocolate mousse, caramel tarts, scones, short breads and a feast of mouth-watering treats. If you are there for lunch, you’ll also find specialty coffees and flavoured teas along with wholesome soups, salads and sandwiches. While the tempting goodies aren’t short on sweetness or rich flavours, there are a few ingredients intentionally left off many recipes. Gluten-free and sugar-free are popular options and the entire store is completely nut-free.
“Many people walk in and are like ‘wow this is fantastic, we’ve just been waiting for something like this in this area,’ and gluten-free and nut-free are not easy to find,” says general manager, Alice Gonzalez. While some choose the options out of dietary preference, others steer toward gluten-free and nut-free because of allergies.
Guil Fernandes started Delightful Tastes eight years ago at the company’s main location at Hunt Club and Greenbank roads. Along with his business partner, Nubia Cermeño, he has worked to grow the company to three locations, including another recent shop at 2121 Carling Avenue. The company employs over fifty staff, from cake decorators to catering specialists. Gonzalez and Fernandes are long-time friends and have both worked in the bakery industry for at least 15 years. The idea for the nut-free shop came from a chat the two had while working at different shops many years ago and realizing how many customers were asking for nut-free products.
“He asked me, do you think that’s a market? Do you think we need to go there?” recalls Gonzalez, who saw the potential with so many nut-allergies amongst kids. “That’s one of the reasons he decided to give a little twist to his company and offer 100 per cent nut-free products, and at the same time, that other line of gluten-free and sugar-free. Kids love pastries, just as Guil and I love pastries. So, for those parents that have those worries, we can guarantee your kid is going to be fine having a cupcake – any kind of cupcake in our store.”
In addition to catering to those with food allergies, the shop in the Glebe has become popular with the student crowd who frequently drop in after class to hang out, enjoy a snack and open up their laptops. For others, it has become a place to meet up with friends through the day or to chill in the evening before heading to the next social activity.
There’s also a deep Latin theme at Delightful Tastes, with Gonzalez and Cermeño coming from Venezuela and Fernandes from Brazil. In fact, a live Latin band fills the shop with salsa, merengue and jazz music every Saturday night starting at 5 p.m.
Gonzalez came to Canada 13 years ago to learn English and study business. After working in several parts of the service industry, she zeroed in on the bakery line and worked her way up to managing one of Ottawa’s biggest bakeries in the Byward Market for seven years. “I enjoy making pastry, I enjoy food, I enjoy when customers say ‘this is fantastic’ and come back because it’s good,” Gonzalez says of her motivation.
She says being involved with the community and giving back is central to their business philosophy and is especially important in a tight-knit neighbourhood like the Glebe. “It’s not just because our name is going to be there, it’s also because we’re doing something for the community and that’s what we care about,” says Gonzalez. “If you live around here you need to meet your neighbours.” In addition to participating in fundraisers and community events, Delightful Tastes will have monthly neighbourhood activities as well as a few seasonal specials. This month they’re featuring chocolate-dipped strawberries and heart-shaped pastries for Valentine’s Day. The excitement is expected to heat up with warmer weather and a few ideas for Canada Day are already in the works.
Gonzalez says that although she misses her family and the ocean back home, there’s a lot to celebrate in Canada. “This is a fantastic country. It’s very beautiful and giving a little touch of Venezuela to the area is not bad,” she laughs. “It’s a nice challenge and I’m open to that.”
For more information, contact email@example.com or just drop by.
775 Bank Street
Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat, 9 a.m.– 10 p.m
Sun, 9.a.m. – 6 p.m.
Writer and Glebe resident Ian Miller contributes the Glebe Report Business Buzz column every other month.